You probably have already heard about the new marketing tool from Google.com on the Internet. Their advertising service is called "Adwords" and allows you use Google.com for marketing. Your ads will be displayed on Google's website when people initiate a search. Your ads can also be displayed very targeted among many thousand websites that partner with Google in a program called "Google AdSense". Adwords is the Google.com version of a pay-per-click advertising model. That means users click on your ad and will be redirected to your website or a specific URL that you have selected when creating your ad campaign.
What do you need to know about Adwords? Adwords is a way to spend a lot of money on advertising very very fast. BUT ? Adwords is also a way to spend marketing money very selective to a targeted audience. Adwords can be very expensive for the advertiser if not properly planned and tested.
When you setup a Google Adwords ad campaign, you choose certain keywords for which your ad will appear on search results on Google.com. You also specify the maximum amount of money that you are willing to pay for each click. Remember - the Google Adwords program is a PPC (Pay per Click) model and you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad and hence visits your website.
It is very important to select the right keywords for your business ad. Going with too generic keywords that everyone will not be very effective and very expensive. Play a little bit with the Adwords keyword and campaign settings just to get a feeling how expensive the generic keywords for your business and industry are. You will realize soon that you need to be creative and careful with the usage of keywords.
Google recommends using different spelling variations and plural versions of your keywords to reach the best target audience. This is a good approach, as not every one of your potential new customers will search for a keyword in the same way as everyone else. Some people will use plural versions and others will use singular versions.
Exact matching of keywords in Google user queries requires you to place square brackets around your selected keywords. Example: [web hosting]. Your ad will now only show when users search exactly the phrase 'web hosting'. Your ad will not show if other words are included in the search string or the words are entered in a different order.
Another keyword matching option is the phrase option. This is very similar to the exact matching of keywords in a search in the sense that the keywords must all be present and in the right order. However your ad will still show up in search results even if other words are present in the search. To make use of phrase matching you must include your keywords in quotes. Example: "web hosting".
Negative matching is the final option available for your Adwords advertisement. This option allows you to block your ad being shown if a certain word is present in the search query of the Google user. This allows you to reduce the number of possible clicks on your ad in non-relevant searches and therefore to keep your cost low. It also helps you to make sure that your ad is not shown to users who will not be interested in your products. If your keyword is 'web hosting' but your web hosting is based on the Linux operating system and not based on a Windows Operating System then by using negative matching you can choose to have your ad not shown for search queries with 'windows web hosting'. In this case 'windows' would be your negative keyword. You simply place a dash in front of your negative keyword to use this option. Example: -windows
Using the here described ways of selecting keywords will help you to be more successful with Google Adwords. Google also allows you be very specific for which geographic area your ads will be displayed. You go from global to country and even state or city specific settings. Especially local businesses now will have it much easier to use Google Adwords for their specific local markets.
Well, you got the idea how to be very specific how you select your keywords and combinations of keywords. But how do you actually select the right keywords? In order to get the most out of Adwords, you must have a list of great keyword and phrases. If your keyword list is not good enough, you will be punished with paying too much for your advertising. Write down the top search terms that you can think of. Ask friends and family how they would use Google to find your product (without searching for the business name itself).
A competitor of Google actually offers a free tool, which will allow you to find out how popular the keywords are that you selected. Find this free tool here and use it for your advantage:
Create a list of the most popular keywords. Now add words to the actual keywords. Use words that would describe your specific product or service. Now use these phrases or word combinations when setting up a Google Adwords campaign to find out how much you would have to pay per click to get your ad onto the first page on a Google search.
If the keywords selected by you are very expensive to use you should consider rewording or using different combinations. Maybe concentrate on a certain niche to find lower priced keyword options.
When testing new campaigns make sure that you limit your exposure by amount of money you want to spend per day as well as you should set a date / time limit. It's easier to activate a campaign again if it works just fine for you. If you fail to set limits you might spend lots of money in a very short time ? money you can't get back. It is gone ?.
Another way to save money on your Adwords advertising campaign is to wait for the end of the month. It's funny, but many folks follow a plain rule to start their advertising in the beginning of the month. By the time the 25th of a month is there they have spend most of their money on their campaigns already. For you this means that the prices for many popular keywords might be more affordable for you.
If you are advertising specific products with your ads, link to the specific product page and not to your homepage. 95% of the people who click through to your website will not really be willing to start another search on your website to find the product mentioned in your ad.
Frequently revisit your campaigns and compare prices and results. The Internet is a fast changing environment. What works one day, might not necessarily work the next day. Keep track of everything ? maybe create a spreadsheet.
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Christoph Puetz is a successful small business owner (Net Services USA LLC) and international author.
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